By Jeff Frazee
Discipling young men is no walk in the park. Your emotions run high at that age. The desire to be with and like your peers is consuming. Communicating your thoughts and plans seems almost impossible. Your ability to master yourself and carry out the things you intend to do is, at best, only partially formed.
Sambou, 17 years old, is in the thick of this stage of life. As a high school dropout, there is no current he can float along with, and it seems to make him all the more susceptible to the influence of other young men. His mom left me a message one day and asked me to talk to him about smoking. For several reasons, it is rare to see someone smoking in Kadiolo. It is a sure sign of disconnection from the society around you.
Sambou showed up to work in the white robe of Ramadan, and two friends were with him.
“So, it doesn’t look like you’re planning to work today,” I said. He confirmed, and I asked him if he had time to read scripture before he went.
He said, “Yes.”
I asked his buddies for a minute alone with Sambou and told him that his mom had sent me a message. I asked him if he wanted to listen to it or if he already knew what it was about.
Sambou said, “It was about smoking.”
We talked about how his smoking upset his mom and how he’s hard to parent because he doesn’t care about anything.
I read him Yuhana (John) 3:19 about how people of this world love the darkness, and we read Kolosekaw (Colossians) 2:20-23 about how religion has no power to change our hearts and behavior. Then we read Romans 8:1-13. He said he wanted to walk in the light. I prayed. Then he prayed, and he seemed to have a good grasp of his relationship with God. I encouraged him more, and he went off to obey and honor his mom.
Sambou and I have read through all five books of the Torah (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy), and we are currently in Joshua. God’s Word is powerful and effective.
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